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Friday, February 26, 2010

S.F. Iguana Man Gets to Keep His 'Service Lizards'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge Cosmie Silfa and Skippy - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Cosmie Silfa and Skippy
Some of you may remember a few stories we wrote last year about San Francisco resident Cosmie Silfa, who had the unique distinction of owning a "service lizard." Well, SF Weekly caught up with Silfa this week, and it turns out he no longer owns a service lizard. He owns three. 

Silfa, first profiled in a cover story on service creatures in June of last year, ran into a rough spot with the mangers of his SRO hotel. While he has a psychiatrist's note "prescribing" Skippy the iguana as "an essential

component of our treatment plan," last year Silfa was made to jump through a number of administrative hoops that endangered his ability to keep a large reptile in his small apartment.

But, in the end, things worked out for the self-professed disabled

veteran -- and how. His new paperwork is actually even more inclusive than before;

not only is he the proud owner of Skippy the service iguana, his

bearded dragon Scruffy and blue-tongued skink Buffy have now also been

designated as "service animals." 

Silfa's victory was not without casualties, however. He was forced to give up several of his non-essential lizards (when SF Weekly visited Silfa in his extraordinarily cozy room last year it was a virtual herpetarium, a library of lizard-fancier magazines, and a good 85 degrees Farenheit). Marilyn the skink -- so-named becuase of her sexy walk -- is now living with a friend. Silfa is no longer permitted to hand carry his service lizards through the halls. But he can live with that.

"Everything is fine," he says with a laugh. "I just can't wait until the warm weather."

Then he can walk his service animals around the block and to the nearby dog park. Neither lizards nor Silfa enjoys the wet and cold.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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